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October 19, 2008 / jadettman

Back from Ithaca

So, last week Britt and I were in Ithaca. The Division for Planetary Sciences held their annual conference there this year and Britt was going to it, as usual, so I tagged along to hang out with friends and play games. Here’s the recap:

FRIDAY 10/10:
Britt and I got up ridiculously early (~2:30am) to catch the bus to O’Hare Airport. The bus left the station at 3:45am and dropped us off at O’Hare around 6am. Then we waited around for our plane to depart. We had a layover in Philadelphia and arrived in Ithaca around 1pm local time. We were picked up at the airport by a guy from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and driven to the office where we rented an awesome silver Prius to ride around in for the week. We hadn’t originally signed up for a Prius but, man, when I saw they had one available it was kind of inevitable.

After acquiring the car, we took a nap and, afterward, visited Wegmans for some essentials for the week. Then, in the evening, we went to Cornell Games Club and played games. I ended up playing a lot of Vampire: the Eternal Struggle while Britt got some folks together to playtest murderland, which was pretty awesome. From all reports, the playtest games went well and people had a fun time. That pretty much kicks ass.

SATURDAY 10/11:
Like much of the week, Britt spent most of the day at DPS and I ended up hanging out in the Autumn Leaves Cafe (after tooling around in my sexy silver rental Prius). I had lunch with JP at Ragman’s (where apparently they have no idea what a Philly Cheese Steak is) and we talked Amber and gaming.

After lunch, I met up with Dan just as he got into town and shanghaied him into playing some War of the Ring with me and Ben Stein. Sadly, the Hobbits and Elves (played by Ben) won the day despite the evil efforts of Sauron and Saruman.

In the evening, we ended up having dinner at Benchwarmers with Lucy, Dan, and another couple who, I’m sad to say, I don’t recall their names. We ended up at Benchwarmers because they were the only sit-down restaurant on The Commons that had a wait time of under an hour.

SUNDAY 10/12:
After dropping Britt off at DPS, I took another long drive around in the Prius and then I hit the Friends of the Library Book Sale.

The Ithaca Book Sale used to be advertised as the largest used book sale in the continental United States but, apparently, that is no longer the case. It’s still a frickin’ huge warehouse full of books, CDs, DVDs, and all sorts of other stuff. We hadn’t even realized that it was going on until we saw the sign above the library on Friday but, of course, I had to go. I picked up few things but not the usual haul because I didn’t feel like shipping stuff back to Wisconsin and we didn’t have much room in our luggage. It was still nice to visit.

For lunch, I ate at Sammy’s Pizza. It was tasty but not as good as I remembered. Then Zach showed up at Autumn Leaves and we played various games in Cafe. Some Vs. and Yetisburg, mostly, with a little Anachronism thrown into the mix. The funny thing is that I had forgotten to pack my dice so we ended up using Cosmic Wimpout dice to play Anachronism, something I don’t recommend.

In the evening, I picked up Amy, Britt and Dan from the Ramada Inn, DPS, and Collegetown, respectively, and we headed out to Scott and Laurie’s house to play an Amber one-shot event that JP had cooked up for us. Everyone from our old Amber group was there plus a couple new people and it was a lot of fun. JP ran us through a basic he-said/she-said first-contact invasion plot in his Infinite Amber setting using the rules from Spirit of the Century which was amusing, but most of the fun came from hanging out with old friends and making wacky and/or off-color jokes about the various Amberites we were playing, characters we all know quite well. I got to play Oberon, which meant I spent a lot of time being a bossy jerk and giving the other characters work to do.

MONDAY 10/13:
I spent a lot of time just reading and doing a little writing in the Autumn Leaves Cafe. I don’t even remember what I did for lunch that day. Weird.

In the evening, Britt and I had dinner with Ben and Amelia at Taste of Thai and then went out for dessert at Purity. The Thai food was delicious, and just as I remembered it (must get the Pad Thai with noodles when going to Taste of Thai!) and Purity was also quite tasty as usual.

After dinner, Britt dropped me off at Eric’s house for the usual Monday night Shadowfist butt-kicking event with Eric, Erik, and Peter. When we lived in Ithaca, Eric would host a group of us (which generally consisted of the four of us) to play Shadowfist on every Monday night that he had available. It was nice to do it again.

TUESDAY 10/14:
Dropped Britt off at DPS, made a brief visit to CFCU to sort out some lingering financial administrivia, and then hung out at Autumn Leaves until lunch time. Then, I had an early lunch with Alex at the Dewitt Cafe. Actually, more accurately, Alex had breakfast and I ordered a croissant as I wasn’t feeling all that hungry. Unsurprisingly, we chatted about games and gaming.

Around noon, we headed back to Autumn Leaves where we met up with John Stevens and played a game of Vampire: the Eternal Struggle in which John kicked our asses with his ridiculous Kazar’s Diary Wraith deck. After which, Zack showed up with Puerto Rico and we played a couple of games of that before we all headed our separate ways.

For dinner, Britt and I met up with Amanda and Steve at Aladdins in Collegetown. There was much conversation and tasty food. The Caramel Pecan Fudge was tastier than I had suspected it would be.

After dinner, I dropped Britt back off on campus for an astronomy thing and headed over to Alex’s apartment to play some A Call to Arms. Alex and I chatted about gaming some more and I (as the Centauri) got my ass handed to me by the Narns. Stupid Narns always rolling 6s.

WEDNESDAY 10/15:
Britt and I had lunch with Heather at The Lost Dog. The food was good and Heather and Britt spent most of the meal reminding me just how sexy smart women are.

After lunch, Heather showed us around Black Box Computer Consulting where she works as a accountant. After which, Britt headed back up to campus and I played some Shadowfist with Peter and John Stevens at Autumn Leaves.

For dinner, Britt and I didn’t have plans so we ended up hanging out in our hotel room and eating some calzones from DP Dough, which was handily right across the street from the hotel. Afterward, we took a walk around downtown Ithaca and enjoyed the cool but still pleasant weather.

THURSDAY 10/16:
Britt headed backed to campus in the morning in an attempt to talk to her old Advisor, Phil, about a Paper she’s got in the works while I did a little reading until lunch time.

For lunch, I headed up to Cornell campus and had lunch with Eric, Erik, and JP, all of whom work for Cornell is various IT jobs. I had a rather terrible and greasy taco salad, we played some Shadowfist and chatted about various things.

With what was left of the afternoon, I finished up my reading at Autumn Leaves, then picked up Heather and Britt and, with a brief stop at the Greenstar Co-op, headed over to Howard’s house for dinner and games.

I played a game of Ticket to Ride: Europe and another game of Puerto Rico. Britt played a little Mah-jongg and spent a lot of time just chatting with folks. We ate pizza and drank ginger beer. It was a lot of fun.

Initially, I had been a little concerned about inviting Heather along. She doesn’t usually hang out with the gamer crowd but she does like to play games. Happily, there was minimal awkwardness and Heather had a fun time playing Ticket to Ride: Europe.

FRIDAY 10/17:
Our last day in Ithaca. Britt and I met up for breakfast at Ithaca Bakery with John Hayes who was, just coincidentally, up from the City visiting his father and son in the area. We had a pleasant, but unfortunately brief, meal and then I had to get Britt up to the airport to meet with Phil.

We had decided to have a take-out lunch from Hal’s Deli (our usual Big Red Special with a potato knish) so, once Phil showed up for the meeting, I headed back downtown to acquire lunch and drop of the rental car.

It was still a little early to be ordering so I, of course, headed over to Autumn Leaves to kill some time. There I found John Stevens and John Hayes chatting. We reminisced a little about our old Iron Heroes game for a bit and then I ordered lunch from Hal’s.

John Hayes volunteered to give me a ride up to the airport after I dropped off the rental Prius, so we did that thing and John lingered with us in the airport food-court while we ate our lunch and waited for our plane to board.

Then we spent 11 hours traveling home, which kinda sucked because, apparently, US Airways doesn’t believe in not over-booking a flight and for some damn reason our first Gate didn’t have any air-conditioning.

Happily, we eventually made it home, cuddled the cat, and fell into bed around 1am.

5 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Ben / Oct 19 2008 2:17 pm

    Apparently, if the hordes of Sauron are distracted by Aragorn and Gandalf, one *does* simply walk into Mordor.

  2. J.A. Dettman / Oct 19 2008 3:07 pm

    Stupid Aragorn. Stupid Gandalf.

  3. Zachk / Oct 19 2008 6:11 pm

    It is also a fact that you won every game of Puerto Rico you played over the week. (even though only 4 games were played, you won them all)

    As resident Jason impersonator, I can safely say
    “What the F!!!!”

  4. J.A. Dettman / Oct 20 2008 6:21 am

    Incorrect, sir!

    I tied that last game with Steve, so I only won 75 percent of the Puerto Rico games played last week. Still a pretty good track record.

  5. Dan / Dec 19 2008 11:28 am

    That old Iron Heroes game was a whole lot of fun. I really miss those Tuesday night d20 games.

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